Is It A Virtue?

Feeling inadequate in almost every aspect and endeavor in my life has been the "norm" for so long that I hardly recognize it anymore. What's more is that I've realized that some of my greatest accomplishments have actually arisen from these feelings. Rather, my obsessive compulsions to "measure up" have led me to constantly trying to improve myself and my life.
The obvious negative aspects include never feeling like I've truly accomplished my goals, feeling like a failure, a burden, a twit and a ****. Feeling like I have let down myself and most importantly, the ones that I love.
So when I reflect on this characteristic and how it has played itself out in my own life I ask, is it a virtue? In other words, has it shaped who I am as an individual and, if so, is it something I should be ashamed of? I'm not sure. It has definitely shaped my life in a unique way.
It was much harder when I was younger and naive to deal with. Instead of trying to improve upon situations I would turn all the negative emotions back on myself causing great bouts of anxiety and depression. I do feel that I suffered greatly back then and missed out on a lot. I regret missing out on a lot of school activities such as sports, band, dances, plays etc. Also I can't help but regret missing out on a lot of general social experiences as well. I mean, I did have a small group of close friends who were fellow outcasts, but outside of them I had little contact with other kids and spent the majority of my time alone. Too embarrassed and ashamed to get involved. Not ashamed of who I was necessarily but ashamed of all that I wasn't. I had ideals and standards in my head of who and what I was supposed to be which I never seemed to meet. Looking back, even when I did accomplish something towards these ideals I would unconsciously set the bar even higher. Never stopping to acknowledge my accomplishments. Thus keeping me in an infinite maze that would always lead right back where I started. I remember my obsession with the band Nirvana and how I even portrayed Kurt Cobain in my head as the "ideal outcast". The "best loser", the "coolest nerd". A paradox which ultimately led me to more "failures" and in a way, for him, suicide. He was a tortured genius who succame to his own feelings of personal inadequacy. I, luckily, was fortunate enough to not let my feelings get to that point where suicide seemed like the only option. But just as other youths were trying to emulate sports figures and celebrities I found Kurt Cobain and tried to emulate his style. I actually flourished quite a bit through in that period. I learned to play guitar, wrote songs, started a band which recorded a demo cd in a real studio downtown, I began writing poetry and discovered a life long love of learning. But of course, at the time, I failed to recognize any of it. Stuck in the loop of chasing the ever moving horizon line. I'm almost 30 now and have grown out of much of that but still find myself arguing with that inner demon. Now he has become such a familiar enemy that I don't know if I could be the same without him. In all I can't say one way or another if this phenomena is common and shouldn't cause one to suffer above and beyond low self esteem. But I do know that there is a point where it can become dangerous and even fatal. Suicidal thoughts happen but I one finds one's self moving slowly toward action, it's crossed into the realm of psychiatric medicine and needs to be treated immediately. If I have learned anything worth repeating in my life it's this: No matter what rock bottom you hit, it could always be worse. Death isn't an escape it's and excuse. If its too much to handle just walk away and don't look back. Ain't nobody gonna stop you. You are only who YOU perceive yourself to be. And once you have walked long enough to realize that- keep on keepin on.
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26-30
1 Response May 15, 2012

good for you!